Market Bellwethers Uplift Nigerian Bourse

The Nigerian equities market halted a 2-day bearish run on Thursday as buy sentiment in market bellwethers lifted the benchmark index 1.1% to 25,533.82points, while YTD loss pared to –5.0%. Gains in DANGCEM (+1.9%), NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+0.8%) and ZENITH (+1.6%) buoyed performance as market capitalisation increased N92.1bn to N8.9tn. However, activity level weakened as total volume and value traded declined 54.4% and 6.2% to 352.0m units and N2.5bn respectively.

All Sectors Advance
Some corporate earnings were released today, including SEPLAT FY:2016 (Gross Revenue down 43.9% to N63.4bn, Loss after Tax of N45.4bn), STERLNBNK FY:2016 (Gross Earnings up 1.0% to N114.4bn, PAT down 49.7% N5.2bn), AIICO FY:2016 (Gross Premium Income grew 188.4% to N30.0bn, PAT surged 756.3% to N10.2bn) and WAPIC FY:2016 ( Gross Premium Income grew 23.4% to N7.6bn, PAT down 54.8% to N0.6bn). Despite the mixed performance of the corporate scorecards, investor sentiment improved as all sector indices closed in the green. The Banking index chaired sector gainers, up 1.2% on the back of gains in ZENITH (+1.6%) and UBA (+2.9%).The Industrial Goods index closely trailed, advancing 1.0% following price appreciation in DANGCEM (+1.9%). In the same vein, the Consumer Goods and Oil & Gas indices trended 0.7% and 0.6% northward respectively as NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+0.8%) and MOBIL (+1.7%) uplifted the indices while the Insurance index gained 0.4%.

Investor Sentiment Strengthens
Investor sentiment further strengthened today as market breadth improved to 3.0x (from 1.5x yesterday) on account of 24 stocks that appreciated while 8 declined. AIRSERVICE (+9.5%), CADBURY (+5.0%) and CONTINSURE (+4.7%) were the top gaining stocks while CCNN (-4.9%), AIICO (-3.6%) and FIDSON (-3.0%) declined the most.

Commenting on today’s trading performance, Afrinvest analysts said, “In line with our expectation, market performance improved today as investors took advantage of bellwethers trading at bargains and we expect this trend to be extended to the last trading session of the week.”

NASD OTC Exchange Market Activities
In the NASD OTC exchange, the total volume and value of transactions surged by 217.9% and 1258.4% to 2.0m units and N263.5m respectively while only 5 counters were traded today. The massive jump in market activities was majorly driven by NDEP which accounted for 98.8% and 99.4% of total volume and value respectively, closing at N130.00